One grey, rainy day when I was a kid, my dad bought the family a Shove ha’penny board – so that we could see what fun was like before the Commodore 64. It turns out that fun involved smacking coins along a wooden board, trying to get them to stop between the lines. We learned a valuable lesson that day, I can tell you. I learned to ignore dad and keep playing Impossible Mission.
Thankfully, I can now try to learn the same lesson all over again because the London design agency Sennep is bringing its popular HTML 5 title OLO to iOS platforms. Designed for up to four-players, the game requires participants to slide their counters into score zones on the screen. There are three sizes of counter, with the larger ones more capable of knocking opponent pieces out of their zones. So it’s all about accuracy and planning, and sliding. This is a video of it in action.
Due out at the end of May, I can see this becoming an absorbing thing to play on train journeys, or down the pub during awkward pauses in the conversation, when hovering over a small board attempting to slide counters in an accurate fashion may well bring people together. That’s what Shove ha’penny must have been used for in the olden days; that’s what dad must have been trying to teach us all those years ago.